STATE COLLEGE, PA - JANUARY 08: Christian Watford #2 of the Indiana Hoosiers shoots in the lane against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at the Bryce Jordan Center on January 8, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. The Indiana Hoosiers won, 88-82. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Well what we've been waiting for since the first week of December has finally come and gone. Indiana is officially tournament bound. IU earned a four seed with their entire body of play and will take on the New Mexico State Aggies in Portland. Some of the Vegas guys have heard that the line has opened with Indiana being a 5.5 point favorite. Expect that to jump as the week progresses on.
In a quick summary, the Aggies have some potential matchup problems for the Hoosiers as they have been described as an "all-airport" team. Which means that they're a big team with a lot of big physical players. Cody Zeller and Derek Elston will have their hands full in the post, but the Aggies guard play has struggled at times this year. With the ability to lock down a subpar perimeter I expect Indiana to roll into the second round after some early game struggles on the boards keeping it close at half time. Shouldn't be a cake walk.
Some more quick tournament observations after the jump.
I HATE the complete bracket that IU landed in. Seriously, the South is brutal. Indiana has a decent path to a potential Sweet Sixteen re-match with Kentucky, but from the Sweet Sixteen on it will be brutal. Kentucky, Duke, Baylor, IU, Wichita State, UNLV, Notre Dame and UConn are all viable Final Four teams. Seriously, it is a very tough bracket to draw. Whichever team comes out of the South for the Final Four most definitely earned its place.
I did a quick bracket without over thinking it and I have a Final Four of Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State and Kansas. I hate it. I think that's a terrible Final Four prediction, but the only options I can see would be for UNC to beat out Kansas and for Wisconsin to topple Ohio State in an Elite Eight rematch. Just a tough bracket as a whole to predict and feel confident about.
Biggest early round upset? Davidson over Louisville.
Deepest "Cinderella" run? Murray State (6) to the Elite Eight. I have three six seeds, a seven and a five in the Sweet Sixteen. I just don't see the underdog story this year. I do have 3 B1G teams in the Elite Eight though. 2 in the Final Four.
Feel free to add your own gut impressions at first glance.